The characters return to their base of operations but find that their recently acquired benefactor may be having doubts; and gruesome events are starting to unfold around the South Gate.
Yellow Dawn – The Age of Hastur, first published in 2007, is an RPG written by British Science Fiction & Dark Fantasy author David J Rodger – it blends the Cthulhu Mythos and cyberpunk genres in a post-apocalyptic setting. It also has three novels set within it: Dog Eat Dog, The Black Lake and The Social Club.
RESUME 2nd MAY YD+10
2nd May 8 a.m., Winter, Samir, Brendan are on Magnus Hardstrom’s pleasure yatcht…
Winter, Brenda and Samir disembark the H.E. yacht into the rib. They are observed by several mercs with high power assault rifles, and Magnus Hardstrom himself – dressed for a day in the Board Room – smiling in the sunlight as he gazes at the flotilla of small fishing boats – everyone on them dead. Killed by the gas he just deployed. Already the first screams of alarm are erupting from the beach of the coastal settlement.
The team reach the beach, there is hostility but Samir quickly calms the situation down and explains how they themselves are victims of the man on the yacht.
The settlers ask for their help in recovering the 50 or so dead from the water, but the team have to get back to Aigues-Mortes, which is 35 miles to the west – they need to warn their benefactor Baron Toten Reich. With plenty of water but no food, but all their gear (Hardstrom was good on his word), they set off. The survivor settlement is SIZ 7 TECH 2, 500 poverty-stricken souls existing through fishing and their remoteness from the threats of the world beyond. The settlement is not on the Interlink, but hangs off it by a rough horse trail (20 miles). The team don’t know if the trail passes any Dead Cities or other risks, they never asked. They use a good pace, expecting to reach the Interlink by the end of day – and achieve this. They also encounter a farmer with a horse and wagon, and are able to buy fresh produce from him. They camp that night and have a good sleep. Things seem OK.
The next morning it is raining lightly; Samir and Brendan don’t have any water proof gear but they are only a few hours from Aigues-Mortes so decide to risk it.
The Interlink is like any other in this world. A jumbled mix of abandoned motorways, highways and smaller roads, all connected in a patchwork of hand-made signs or local knowledge, with the sole purpose of allowing traders, merchants and travellers to get from point A to point B whilst avoiding every Dead City and other significant Infection risk. By definition, the Interlink allows vehicle access for those fortunate enough to have vehicles. People on foot and horseback naturally follow these forged routes – but of course, they always have the freedom to step off and go cross-country or explore rough trails – if they have the confidence.
Whilst on the Interlink they encounter a group of ten men and woman or horseback, heavily armed with modern firearms, galloping down the empty motorway towards them. They turn out to be a well-meaning and very helpful group of Guardian Angels – making sure bad people stay off the interlink. They suggest Winter could get work with them in the Living City of Montpellier; ask for Delphine and The Scoundrels, and people will point him to where he needs to go.
Reaching Aigues-Mortes feels like coming home (with some bad memories). The Interlink here is a wide highway, pot-holed with weeds here and there but in otherwise good condition. All the buildings in the surrounding area have been flattened – by survivors scavenging and then by Aigues-Mortes authorities to prevent low lifes setting up camp, or worse. Right outside the massive medieval walls that enclose the wealthy survivor settlement, are shanty towns and rough merchant tents. This is where Winter (and Bela) spent many years eking out a tough existence. Now they are walking up to the guarded gate…. where the militia keep out anybody not supposed to be inside (almost everyone). However they know Winter and it seems the teams’ cache still exists – they are allowed through. But the deputy captain of the Watch says Deraloux, the Captain of Aigues-Mortes wants to see them.
They meet. Deraloux is on edge, not like him. He tells the team that Magnus Hardstrom came to Aigues-Mortes yesterday. He does not like this, he does not like complications like a corporate entity exerting influence on the town or him. The team are told they now have rented accommodation inside Aigues-Mortes. Paid for by Hardstrom. And that the militia are to take care of them; the characters are special people.
Winter is uneasy about this, because what will Baron Toten Reich think of this?
Samir is offered a chance to get away from characters by the Captain who gives him a liaison role, liking his communication ability. Samir, of course, with an agenda always on his mind jumps at the chance.
The apartment is in the cheaper South Side of Aigues Mortes where the South Gate is. First floor, above a bakery, with an empty floor above it. Unfurnished but paid for, including water and electricity.
The deputy captain escorts them there and suggests a) he has ideas for the town that Captain Deraloux is too narrow minded to see – and would appreciate a meeting with their employer (Magnus Hardstrom). Winter mutters maybe. b) the deputy knows of a boy, 16 years old, who has come to Aigues Mortes and may be of use to the team. Winter goes to meet him. Aaron is tall, gangly and one leg is in a brace, but he is good-looking,, intelligent and charismatic. The woman running the Christian hostel doesn’t want him to leave because the boy has been so wonderful and useful. Aaron is given a key to the apartment. Brendan goes to bed that afternoon with a bottle of brandy.
Winter goes to talk to Toten Reich, to explain the situation, but all his contacts say he is not here. Winter goes to the larger than life (physical and intellect) researcher who lives in a mansion within the north section of Aigues-Mortes. This man was introduced via Toten Reich several weeks ago. He is perfectly polite but Winter gets to realise that the fact they are now being fronted by H.E. money and resources is… an unusual and worrying development. “All H.E. would need is a bunch of skilled men to enter the town to start taking over.” It is a pointed remark. Winter leaves, worried; has Toten Reich abandoned them?
Aaron comes back from an errand to the new apartment. Sees a man acting strangely in the narrow cobbled lane behind the building. Aaron discovers the man is wearing a torn straight jacket and is gibbering like a lunatic; he has also gouged his eyes out (not recently). Militia arrive quickly, after local children raised the alarm, and escort the man away – Aaron tries to intervene but gets a punch in the jaw for his trouble.
RESUME: 5th May, YD +10. Early morning. Samir is parked with the Captain of Aigues-Mortes.
Winter, Brendan and Aaron are at the South Side apartment. It is raining lightly, and Winter has just read the local rag Les Pages Mortes, which has covered a story about terrible incident at the Simone Apartment block in South Side – is appears connected to the man who Aaron saw yesterday.
<> All characters need to make rank rolls for 26th May session.
<> Bella needs to do rank roll for 1st March session.
<> All money is up to date. The team were paid 10 days advance for the Libya trip by the Baron (600 copper).
<> Bela has some raw components and specialised components he scavenged on the way to Prudence.
<> Bela has a special ops gel suit, although armour is wrecked over heart and right thigh.
<> Samir has bruising from being beaten up in Aigues Mortes, and knife wounds from the ship’s engineer.
<> Brendan has an assault rife with 24 rounds remaining.
<> Winter and Samir have acquired a large number of firearms and ammunition, plus heavy weaponry, from Mohammed’s camp and the gasses mercs at Bino Bit compound (these are written on DJR paper notes).
<> Team have 12 litres water, NO food, but do have all their money AND all their equipment back.
<> NOTE: Bela is not with them. He is acting lawman at Celeste.
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